The St. Martin identity open for discussion on Tuesday evening

GREAT BAY/MARIGOT, St. Martin — “Imagining the St. Martin Nation” in two books by Lasana M. Sekou is the subject of a pre-book fair discussion taking place at Philipsburg Jubilee Library on Tuesday, May 29, from 7:30 pm – 9 pm.

“A panel of experts will discuss the St. Martin people, identity, nationhood and notions of sovereignty as explored in Sekou’s short stories and poetry,” said Jacqueline Sample of House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP).

The experts or discussants are Dr. Rhoda Arrindell, linguist, researcher, educator (St. Martin), Emilio Jorge Rodríguez, author, essayist, scholar (Cuba), and Dr. Maria van Enckevort, historian, researcher, educator (St. Martin).

The books that are going to get the critical treatment are Brotherhood of the Spurs (on the 15th anniversary of its publication), and The Salt Reaper, the critically reviewed poetry collection.

The general public is both invited to attend and encouraged to participate in the discussion of the ideas and books that some of them might have read, said Shujah Reiph, coordinator of the 10th annual St. Martin Book Fair.

Both books by the St. Martin author were published nearly 10 years apart. Have there been any changes in direction in the St. Martin reality or in the author’s two works? Are any of the dreams in the books being fulfilled in the St. Martin of today? “These are some of the questions that are going to be addressed, said Reiph.

It was Reiph who came up with the idea “to put the two books under a critical hard stare in plain view for all to interact with the discussion,” said Sample. This may be the first time that a St. Martin literary text will be so discussed on the island.

The reader of selections of both titles will be Marie Richardson, assistant principal at St. Dominic School.

The 10th annual St. Martin Book Fair will take place on May 31 – June 2, 2012, and opens at Belair Community Center on Thursday at 8 pm.

The St. Martin Book Fair is organized by Conscious Lyrics Foundation and HNP in collaboration with St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, the Ministry of Education & Culture (MECSY), the Collectivity of St. Martin, and the University of St. Martin. For book fair updates visit http://www.houseofnehesipublish.com/book_fair2040.html

Photo 1: Dr. Rhoda Arrindell, linguist, researcher, educator (St. Martin).

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